Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Go Us

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  • Simon Grigg,

    simon - "I have trouble making a lot of sense" - I guess we both have problems hey. Do you find it difficult being a patronising twat?

    It was you that said you were slow my friend, and lets face it my blog doesn't lead with the word Helengrad, the use of which, to my mind, regardless of one's politics, brings to mind the word twat, patronising or not.

    I'm guessing you didn't read the Brooks piece then before you linked to it?

    And if evidence was needed of a lack of sense, this one is a real doozy:

    Get the competent administrators as cabinet members under a competent chief of staff. And train Palin in the ways of National management and international affairs. that way you have competent administration and the right management.

    On job training, eh? You reasoning is starting to sound desperate my friend. This is a woman whose Foreign Policy is to follow 'god's will' (her words).

    And then we have the much repeated myth:

    Reagan managed to tip the Soviet Union over the edge by having a few clear principles.

    As any student of Soviet History could tell you, it was a tad more complicated than that, although I grant you, it's a widely touted theory within the right and Reagan played his part but no more than Gorby.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Selling McCain and Palin as outside the beltway figures who are willing to work on the basis of ideas not party.

    I think it was the detail in the CBS poll yesterday which said that 60% think of McCain as a continuation of Bush, so they're having trouble selling that one.

    The difference between the two conventions to date is astounding, whereas the DNC was celebratory and very up, the RNC has spent the whole time on the defensive.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    The election was lost as of last week, they needed a game changer and long as the odds may be, Palin still has more chances of being "it"

    It certainly negates what Biden might be able to get away with in the debates. If he puts on a pugnacious performance he is going to come across as a bully.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    The Daily Show is in fine form at the moment. Their take on the Republicans' response to Gustav is a classic. The interview with Brian Williams is also pretty funny.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    If he puts on a pugnacious performance he is going to come across as a bully.

    But if he just answers the questions better than she does, esp. on foreign policy, he will appear more competent. The guy wasn't born yesterday.

    I should have completed my previous point: Palin gives the Republicans an outside chance of winning that they previously didn't have; but she also increases the chances that it will be a rout. The wheels could fall off this thing very fast indeed, beginning tonight.

    The interview with Brian Williams is also pretty funny.

    Williams is always good value when he spars with Stewart, isn't he?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    As any student of Soviet History could tell you, it was a tad more complicated than that, although I grant you, it's a widely touted theory within the right and Reagan played his part but no more than Gorby.

    A lecturer of mine, the late Lew Fretz, assured us that Reagan consistently led and Gorby followed; this despite the fact that Reagan appeared barely sentient (anyone remember Spitting Image's portrayal of Reagan wandering around the White House saying "where's my cue cards, where's my cue cards?" while reading cue cards that said, ba boom, "where's my cue cards, where's my cue cards"?)

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    "The President's brain is missing!!"

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    A lecturer of mine, the late Lew Fretz, assured us that Reagan consistently led and Gorby followed;

    I think it's pretty well accepted that Gorby was driving at Reykjavík, at least in the histories I've read. That Reagan played ball, at least some of the way, was to his credit.

    There are a bunch of assumptions that are taken as givens in the Reagan as saviour meme, not least of which was the level of military expenditure attributed by the West to the Soviets which we now know was vastly overstated by the US. More important than that was cost of supporting client states and the technology gap with the west. When the Mig25 defected to Japan in the mid 1980s there was shock at the fact it's avionics were largely valve driven.

    Afghanistan was however a huge draw on a weakened economy and played a massive part in the end, but the internal reforms of the XXVIIth Party Congress and the 1987 central committee changes were internal matters and were driven by Gorbachev, not Reagan, although clearly a reflection of the new reality.

    And then we have the onslaught of western popular culture. You may laugh, but Billy Joel's tour caused a minor cultural earthquake in 1987.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Billy Joel's tour caused a minor cultural earthquake in 1987

    My god. Simon, are you telling me that he *did* start the fire? I thought it was always burning since the world's been turning!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    My god. Simon, are you telling me that he *did* start the fire?

    Nice! Very nice.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    My god. Simon, are you telling me that he *did* start the fire?

    If anyone deserved to get tossed into the hellfires of Siberia and left there it was Billy Joel, if only for "It's Still Rock'n'Roll to Me" and that appalling Beatles cover in Moscow, but the cultural aspects to the fall of the Soviet Union:.....I'm trying to remember who it was, but somebody once opined that television and levis bought down the Berlin Wall

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    When the Mig25 defected to Japan in the mid 1980s there was shock at the fact it's avionics were largely valve driven.

    For real?

    The "out-spend and bankrupt them" theory was what Fretz pushed; he was big on Reagan, Kennedy too, and tended to overlook their failings in preference for their vision. Oddly Nixon wasn't indulged in the same way.

    And then we have the onslaught of western popular culture. You may laugh, but Billy Joel's tour caused a minor cultural earthquake in 1987.

    I'd heard that, I remember tv news from the time. Pity they got him later in his career but... Songs in the Attic's a great album... though I wonder whether your musical interests were elsewhere in '81.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    though I wonder whether your musical interests were elsewhere in '81.

    ha, yes..see above

    And I misstated the date of the Mig 25 defection..it was 1976

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Whereas, in China you eat what you're told, right Mark?

    yeah, as opposed to ordering some dish and being disappointed when they're out, then protest a bit, then go home, drink till 3 or 5 depending on who won the election, and ready that pencil for the nect voteathon. But more to the point in relation to sage, where there's no enforsed closing time on bars where <cough> smoking is still legal.

    Oh wait, I get it now: You're saying you favour the STV voting system. Good on you!

    for the first modicum of proportional representation of people, that would be a nice start.

    STV might have even won that referendum if it had been an STV referendum.

    but just the tip of the iceberg...
    the distant future, the distant future 000000001000000001

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Democrats and Republicans have stuff all effective difference on the use of force. Democrats go to war and bomb places for "humanitarian reasons". Republicans go to war and bomb places to "fight for freedom".

    Clinton went to war against Serbia and annexed Kosovo because of a humanitarian crisis. Obama has adopted Darfur as a hotline issue, describing the genocide as a humanitarian issue.

    Bush (the first) went to war for the freedom loving Kuwaitis. Bush (the second) invaded Iraq and Afghanistan for freedom. McCain thinks that Iran is suppressing the freedom of its people.

    Somewhere, someplace a tribesman is going to hear a roar, look up and see a cruisemissile inbound. The only difference this election is going to make is whether the explosion is going to be for "humanity" or for "freedom".

    again, for u angus, seems i should reiterate the point;

    and i'm fucking surprised that the major parties stances on supporting the next US military campaign aren't a huge issue in the NZ election, cos it's not like Jamaica has troops in Afghanistan

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls,

    So... what do people make of The Speech?

    I only saw about 2 minutes (rest of the household were too interested in Venus v Serena) but what I saw looked a bit.. wooden.. and I definitely caught a few yawns here and there in the heroically cheering audience. But maybe that was a bad patch.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 325 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    So... what do people make of The Speech?

    She did pretty well I thought. Pitched at the rural voters, with plenty of good lines against Obama, well delivered. The crowd did its part well. One thing though... did she really say she wants to stay in Iraq until victory is achieved? That's how I read the "We're so close to victory in Iraq" line. That could backfire quite a bit.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    wooden.. and I definitely caught a few yawns here and there in the heroically cheering audience. But maybe that was a bad patch.

    yep, it was dull and wooden but the faithful lapped it up. A comment on CNN likened it to Borat at the rodeo, and there was that about it.

    They must be very worried about her without the teleprompter in coming weeks...

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    A comment on CNN likened it to Borat at the rodeo, and there was that about it.

    Nice. See also the pic (as of this moment) on cnn.com. She looks demonic: eyes like coals. And she's sticking her tongue out. It's an intriguing editorial choice, to say the least - oh wait, they've changed it already to something more flattering.

    Talk about knee to the goolies, though. She's not afraid to take the gloves off. Lucky she pre-empted everyone with that ancient joke about the rottweiler.

    Are we allowed to comment on the children? Because I thought Piper looked like a shoo-in for President in, say, 2048. What a natural. And I thought the son-in-law could at least have spit his gum out before taking to the stage.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls,

    And I thought the son-in-law could at least have spit his gum out before taking to the stage.

    Pitching to another demographic...

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 325 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Talk about knee to the goolies, though. She's not afraid to take the gloves off.

    It worked for Clinton to get the very same voters that they're hoping to get through Palin. She attacked Obama pretty much in the same way, too. But then she's like Clinton but without social policies. Bit of an empty simulacrum, no?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Tell you what: as sheer cultural spectacle, it's hard to beat the novelty of a woman with babe in arms delivering a speech like that on a stage like that. Wild.

    The content of the speech, though - meh. I'll wait for the fact-checkers to comb through it. Here is a start.

    And was it just me, or was there a weird subtext to those musical choices at the end: We're All Raising McCain [but who's raising Trig?] and, dear oh dear, If the House is a-Rocking, Don't Bother Knocking?! [your daughter might be in here]. Still, it got the delegates up and boogying. Which was a spectacle of its own...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Are we allowed to comment on the children?

    No we are not but the RNC is allowed to parade them all onstage with Levi, bless his good ol' all Alaskan heart, hand in hand with his new love.

    There are two sets of leave the children out of this standards in McCain's America it seems.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    The Democrat blogs are worried, but one comment puts this in context:

    Dude, she read a speech off a teleprompter. What were you expecting, for her to shit her pants and run off the stage?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    And was it just me, or was there a weird subtext to those musical choices at the end

    There has been some comment online too about the choice of The Beach Boys to open the RNC..a band whose key members are either dead or want nothing to do with the bunch trading under that name now, lead by a widely despised man of little substance, trading on the past works of others and who is most commonly referred to in the phrase "Fuck Mike Love".

    It seemed oddly appropriate.

    Maybe it was just me too......

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    again, for u angus, seems i should reiterate the point;

    I questioned your judgement that McCain is more likely to bomb/invade somewhere than Obama.

    But as to your point - it ain't a huge issue because the policies don't differ. National supported Labour deploying troops to Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

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